Skip to main content

tv   Nationalism U.S. Foreign Policy  CSPAN  October 29, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

11:00 pm
on how presidents gained their support. he suggests the trump administration supporters are largely modern-day jacksonians and could learn from this history. >> today we have one of the nations most distinguished historians, walter russell mead. he is a distinguished fellow at the hudson institute and the james clark professor of foreign humanities at bard college. he received prizes for history, debate and translation of new testament greek. he has written many books with -- which are valuable for insight and for their clarity of expression. younger members of the audience, you may have read his book "the special providence: american
11:01 pm
foreign-policy and how it changed the world." which identified for overarching trends in foreign-policy. the hamiltonian, jeffersonian and jacksonian, this way of thinking about foreign-policy remains a touchstone for how we think about foreign-policy today. he will talk about presidents today, but focus on a different group. franklin roosevelt, harry s truman and ronald reagan. he will provide a lot of insight into our current situation. after he speaks, we will take questions from the audience and questions on our twitter site. the twitter handle is -- it rolls off the tongue. the program for military and diplomatic history.
11:02 pm
please join me in welcoming professor walter russell mead. [applause] prof. mead: thank you for that introduction and the opportunity to speak today. i want to congratulate you and csis for taking history seriously. i think this may be one of the critical gaps in american foreign-policy. the failure of colleges and universities to put value on this knowledge, certainly in conversations i have had with policymakers over the years. it has been clear that their hunger for historical knowledge and background, when facing a serious decision and complex
11:03 pm
national security situations is immense. let's hope that this center can be part of a movement of reviving one of the most important studies that there is. what i will do today is talk about a particular problem in american foreign-policy. what i think is the key to many other difficulties and a look at how three different presidents managed this problem, dealt with this condition. the problem is this. as those of you who have read special providence know, i see four schools of thought. hamiltonian holding security on a strong state and alliance between big government and big
11:04 pm
business, working to build a global trading system that is a foundation for american prosperity and international security. the wilsonian think in terms of a global order with emphasis on commerce and trade to put human rights rule of law promotion of international institutions at the core of the order building. wilsonian and hamiltonian are often able to collaborate because the difference is sometimes one of emphasis and priority. both see global order as important. both see that the american interest is best realized in the creation of systems in which others have a stake. both are concerned about the legitimacy of american
11:05 pm
foreign-policy in the eyes of key allies and others with whom we deal. both are you comfortable with the idea of a strong, national state. then you have the jeffersonians, who are much more cautious about international -- about entangling in alliances. you could argue that our colleagues over at the cato institute exemplify a kind of jeffersonian approach to foreign-policy. a consistent jeffersonian would say they want a small government abroad for the same reasons they like a small government at home. big, intrusive government creates problems and can, rather than making the country safer, hamiltonian trade schemes or wilsonian human rights efforts can actually attract hostility and enmity from others, which rebounds on the united states. some would argue that 911 was a classic example where american engagement in the middle east
11:06 pm
made us a target that we might not otherwise have been. these schools, the jeffersonians are a more difficult fit with the hamiltonian and wilsonian world building. at times, the jeffersonian perspective, which looks to have as little foreign-policy as possible -- you have to have foreign-policy to do it. it is cleverly and efficiently as possible. it has led to some very important and constructive steps. i would argue that in his way, john quincy adams had some jeffersonian qualities. george kennan is a example of someone whose instincts were deeply jeffersonian and contributed a great deal to the formation of american national strategy. these schools, while having differences between them, tend
11:07 pm
to all be -- have some things in common. they are represented in the elite. they are ideologies that have a lot of appeal to the upper-middle-class and well educated professional people. it is -- even if they do not always agree, it is easy for them to talk with one another because they often operate in the same cultural and political context. the fourth school in american foreign-policy, which i named for andrew jackson, the jacksonian school is a bit different. they are skeptical about hamiltonian and wilsonian building measures. they do not think big business is here to help them or that it can be trusted. they resolutely oppose the idea
11:08 pm
that american soldiers should be used as pawns or as instruments for promoting democracy in other countries. why should an american mother's son dies so that an iraqi mother's son can live? for jacksonians, when donald trump talks about america first, it is obvious common sense. we are going to have a president who makes america second, third? this is so obvious, that anybody who disagrees with it must be an idiot. anybody who gasped when somebody says something like that is not the person you want to have running foreign-policy. the jacksonians are often easily mobilized against cultural and political elites.
11:09 pm
they do not trust them. they tend to be realists, believing there is no permanent, international peace. while we may have allies who we get along with and have relationships with some trust and confidence in, the international order is not locked in. there is a sharp difference between those who are in the community, among whom we have relationships of trust and honor, and then that enemies, or those abroad, the foreigners, aliens. jacksonians worry about immigration, migration. they see american culture as something to preserve and the source of american exceptionalism. the problem -- i argue in special problems that the existence of these four schools
11:10 pm
has contributed to american success. i believe that. there is a recurring problem, which is that the jacksonians are so numerous and when aroused, so politically powerful, that you cannot really have an american foreign-policy -- an effective, strong and expensive american foreign-policy without jacksonian support. when they really want to do something, it is hard not to do it. it is difficult and costly. the question has always been, how you get the power of jacksonian political support behind foreign policies that can also command support from hamiltonian, jeffersonian or wilsonian elites. what i think we are seeing in our country today, a moment when that gap is wider than ever and
11:11 pm
has created a real crisis in american foreign-policy. i noticed -- one of the things i noticed when president trump took office is something that happened early. a portrait of andrew jackson was installed in the oval office. i learned later on steve bannon that that was because steve bannon, having read from providence, saw that jacksonian descriptor as a one for the president and the president's foreign-policy. he persuaded the president to put it there. that is what mr. bannon is saying. we are now seeing, in the disarray of american foreign-policy and the immense gap between what people around us in the washington policy community and many of our colleagues in other countries see as the right kind or the
11:12 pm
effective kind of foreign-policy, and the instance and approaches of president trump add the people who supported the president and got him elected. that gap, that tension is obvious now as the big issue for american foreign-policy. here is the thing. this is not new. this is a problem that presidents have repeatedly face. jacksonian america is not new. it's attitudes and preferences are not new. the gap between jacksonian instincts and wilsonian and hamiltonian vision is not new. many presidents have faced this. many presidents have found ways of dealing with it. to some degree, the more effective they are at managing this gap, the more effective they are in foreign-policy, generally. i thought today i would talk about three presidents, who in
11:13 pm
my judgment actually ended up managing this pretty effectively. franklin roosevelt, harry truman and ronald reagan. two of these three presidents were liberal democrats. ronald reagan was someone who started off as a liberal democrat. he reminded me of what may west used to say. i was born snow white, but i drifted. ronald reagan drifted away from the liberal democratic roots. in the past, and liberal democrats have worked very
11:14 pm
effectively to marshall jacksonian support. if we look at fdr, we see that he approached jacksonian america very carefully and with a great deal of respect and fought. his economic program, beginning with his hundred days was focused like a laser on dealing with the problems that jacksonian americans were experiencing during the depression. that is the first instance to get the economy moving again, reopen the banks, protect millions of americans. they have been wiped out because if your bank went bankrupt, you could lose all the money that you had in your account. even in a best case scenario, it might be frozen for a long time.
11:15 pm
roosevelt, by putting in insurance aimed at smaller savers, gave people in assurance that in the future, their savings would be real, be provided jobs, provided food. he addressed very specifically the needs of people. my own grandfather, who was a poor, south carolina farmer who lost all his money in a bank failure. he would later say that franklin roosevelt said his family for four years during the depths of the depression. millions of americans saw roosevelt in that way. it created a foundation of trust.
11:16 pm
while we think of jacksonians as populist, you look at american history and franklin roosevelt was not the only aristocrat who managed to capture jacksonian trust. george washington did so. andrew jackson himself was a rich man, self-made but wealthy. theodore roosevelt, very wealthy. abraham lincoln had become a very affluent and successful corporate lawyer and get a lot of railroad cases. we are not saying that jacksonians only go for tribunes of the people, the great unwashed. repeatedly in american history, people who come from economic success and inherited wealth can reach out and build this relationship with jacksonian america based on understanding their economic needs, their cultural and political preferences. having established a foundation of trust, as roosevelt looked at the darkening international scene, he recognized his limits.
11:17 pm
jacksonian america was not ready to face hitler in 1938. we might have all wished he was. jacksonian america was profoundly anti-immigrant. in 1924, we reduced immigration by 90%. that was the last time levels of immigration have reached the level that they have now in terms of percentage of the population. the result was a 90% cut in the effective immigration rate that lasted for about -- for well over a generation. it meant that in the run-up to world war ii, the united states was closed to refugees. roosevelt did not spend his political capital on admission of refugees.
11:18 pm
he understood jacksonian redlines did not like them but observed them, and conserved his trust. after pearl harbor, jacksonians were ready for war when japan attacked. the jacksonians were determined to get out there and punish japan. here is where roosevelt exercised leadership. the country was ready to fight a war with japan in the pacific in revenge for pearl harbor. roosevelt said you are up first. he imposed a strategy on jacksonian america that was not its first choice. he was able to do that because of his personal prestige, the trust people placed in him. he made it stick.
11:19 pm
what we see is that a mix of trust building, reaching out, solving real economic problems that real people encounter -- not wasting your political capital by unnecessarily offending public sensibilities, but reserving your political capital for the bigger occasions where you really do need people to trust you and follow your leadership. roosevelt was able to bring a united country into and through the second world war. his successor, harry truman, faced a different set of
11:20 pm
problems. after world war ii and after world war i, americans wanted nothing but to demobilize and come home. over 90% of the u.s. military machine built up in world war ii was almost immediately demobilized, deconstructed after the war. roosevelt, with his understanding of jacksonian america, one of the reasons he was so forthcoming was his conviction that he would not the able to keep american troops in europe for more than a year after the war because of the lack of interest in the american people in an indefinite military presence in europe. he knew in a sense, he had fewer cards in his hand been some later historians thought he did. it shows a president who accepts the policy preferences of jacksonian america as real
11:21 pm
facts, which must be treated with the respect that all facts deserve. truman, by 1947, has to deal with a new set of issues. that is the soviet union beginning to challenge. in the winter of 1947, in six weeks, the british give up trying to maintain a global empire. you have this terrible freeze in the winter of 1947. the cold freezes in the pits. the trains cannot run, the harbors freeze, the crops are destroyed. something like 20% of the animals are killed. rationing is lower than during wartime. factories have to close because there is no power.
11:22 pm
the british labour cabinet had been trying to maintain expenditures to help the greek government defeat the communists and that civil war and support turkey against the soviet union, iran against the soviet union because the british were hoping they could use the oil in the middle east as a way to prop up the sterling zone and a potential research into british power. with the devastation at home in 1947, they give up and announced they are getting out of india deal or no deal on a date certain. they are getting out of greece and turkey and thrown the palestine problem back to the united nations. a complete throwing in the towel. truman has to get american support for a very different
11:23 pm
kind of world. if stalin, with britain out of the scene, if he is going to be stopped in the middle east or in western europe, the americans have to come in. he is hearing from his generals and economist and diplomats but the european situation is far worse than thought. european economies are not recovering after the war. the cold winter in britain is affecting them, but in general they are losing ground and you are beginning to see france, germany, italy melting in ways that might lead to communist takeovers in these countries. truman has to get the country to act. he has republican majority in congress that are hostile and
11:24 pm
hungry because the democrats have been running politics for 20 years. he has public dislike of troops and foreign aid, things jacksonians are not interested in. famous meetings with truman, atchison and his staff. senator vandenberg and others are meeting to try to make the case. a state official talks about the importance of european recovery and strategic stuff. it is not moving the republicans. after sendups in with a statement about the communists are coming and the communist danger will wreck everything. basically, what truman hears from the republicans in congress is if you can sell that message, we will support you. we will not support you on an elaborate, diplomatic, complex thing. if you can scare the hell out of the american people, you can get what you need. the truman administration does.
11:25 pm
in some ways, this red scare would backfire. you have mccarthyism him all kinds of excesses take place. it becomes a big problem. nevertheless, it gets the job done. the marshall plan, the most most brilliant american foreign-policy, comes about not by convincing the american people of the glories of foreign aid, of hamiltonian and wilsonian wisdom, but by scaring the hell out of people about the very real threat of a communist take over. i am afraid today that we have a lot of intellectuals in
11:26 pm
foreign-policy activist who would let the marshall plan go before they would indulge in those kinds of scare tactics. the truth is, if you want to do something big and american foreign-policy, you cannot do it without jacksonians. they will only act for jacksonian reasons. if your idea is we will persuade them all not to be jacksonian anymore but turn them into wilsonians or hamiltonians, if truman had tried that, by the time he realized it would never work, stalin would have been in power. if you are serious about american foreign-policy, you have to be serious about
11:27 pm
understanding jacksonians and working with jacksonians. that means working within a framework that they understand, recognize and can support. let's go to ronald reagan. i want to take one incident from reagan's career and be able to open this up to discussion and q&a. i do not want to go on forever. ronald reagan found himself in real peril. he was elected in part because of jacksonian discontent with the carter presidency. there was the return of the panama canal to attend warned tin-horn dictator. was it very goldwater who says it is ours, we stole it fair and square? giving back to the panama canal
11:28 pm
is one thing the jacksonians saw as idiotic and crazy. for carter, it was important enough and he could get the two thirds majority in the senate, which is very difficult. he got that through. it hurt him with jacksonians. with the iranian takeover of the u.s. embassy and carter's apparent inability to do anything but hope that iran would be nice and give it back, the failure of the hostage rescue, it was a corrosive attack on carter's standing that helped pave the way for reagan's victory. reagan knew he owed his place in office to jacksonian discontent with jimmy carter and the democratic party in the late 1970's. he wants a muscular
11:29 pm
foreign-policy, a big military buildup. he has plans to end the cold war by provoking an arms race with russia that will make them go back and bankrupt them. it becomes a big problem. we have trouble in lebanon, beirut. reagan sends the marines into beirut. a bomb goes off and hundreds of marines died. a crisis. that is a bigger foreign-policy disaster than anything that carter had experienced. what does he do? he does nothing in beirut. he does not reintroduce troops into beirut. he does not bomb beirut into smithereens. there is an island of grenada.
11:30 pm
there, reagan since in the troops, since in the planes, defeats 100 cubans or however many there were and deliberate grenada to great american acclaim. it was a symbolic use of power. it was political theater to some degree. jacksonian america, as much of the rest of america, ate it up. my point is that, if you understand jacksonian america, you know jacksonians do not like long, inconclusive wars where american soldiers are getting killed and they does not seem to be some kind of path to victory. you do everything you can to avoid it. to be a jacksonian is to become some kind of brash warmonger who
11:31 pm
has never seen a conflict opportunity that you do not like, that is not how it works. you need to think hard and carefully about when you attack, when you do not attack, what is your political purpose, do you have a political purpose? is your strategy viable? does it lead to victory? ronald reagan, by the end of his administration, in part because he has this jacksonian trust, is willing to make offers to gorbachev that horrified hardliners in the american establishment. he keeps his support among jacksonians. an intelligent, thoughtful
11:32 pm
president, who can instinctively grasp the jacksonian point of view and integrate that into american foreign-policy can actually achieve -- can actually summon greater resources to necessary tasks, but also shape policy in ways that makes sense not just for jacksonians, but for the other schools who remain important and a source of critical insight and strategic thinking. i am just going to close with the observation that in our climate and our culture and political climate today, there are many people who would rather lose the marshall plan been to stoop to be nice to jacksonians.
11:33 pm
there is a sense among some that the problem with american foreign-policy is that jacksonians exist. the problem with american society is that jacksonians exist. the only way to succeed and be true to ourselves is to crush the bitter clingers with their guns and bibles. break their cultural ties of memory, offended their sensibility, demoralize, defeat and scatter them. i am afraid this rests on a fundamental misconception of american society. i do not think this is possible. as a historian, student of american politics, as a student of america who has lived in many different parts of this country over the years, my own personal judgment is that that is just
11:34 pm
not possible. the reason why so many people in our academic and policy communities take it is possible simply reflects their lack of knowledge about the country they live in. they took a junior year abroad, so they understand guatemala. he did not take a junior year at home to get to learn anything about kansas or georgia. they would consider that unbelievably dull and worthless. i would argue that we in the policy community and washington and the think tank world need to listen carefully and with respect to jacksonian america. that does not mean that one adopts every policy preference that jacksonians have. jacksonian america,
11:35 pm
historically, has understood the importance of leadership. it will go europe's first when told by a person it has come to respect. you do not have to work effectively with jacksonians. you do not have to give up the idea of leadership. a leader is supposed to be able to see farther and see more than regular people who do not have that much. the average american has at most 10 minutes a day in which to think about foreign-policy. the american public does not expect that you are simply going
11:36 pm
to listen -- to implement everything that rush limbaugh said. you do not have to do that. you do not have to think that way. you do have to understand the structure of this american subculture, it's political preferences, it's cultural signals. you need to work with the american people rather than try to brush past them, if you want to be successful in the world of american foreign-policy. thank you very much. [applause] >> we are going to take questions in groups of three. we can get some through the website and twitter. in the back, we have the microphone. >> thanks professor mead.
11:37 pm
great presentation. maybe you could interpret george w. bush for us and where the atlantic charter fit in, which seems more of a hamiltonian and wilsonian kind of framework. prof. mead: ok. >> another question? ok, we can go ahead. prof. mead: i think george w. bush is someone who tried to repeat the roosevelt idea, which is ok. in many ways, 9/11 functioned in american politics like pearl
11:38 pm
harbor, a sneak attack by a treacherous energy which summons an enormous public desire to do something about it. what bush then did was to say we really want to deal with terrorism, we have to go to iraq. he diverted the public current from afghanistan to iraq. it turned out, on grounds that jacksonians saw is pretty clear. weapons, give them to terrorists? that sounds like grounds for war to us. and it turned out there were no -- that the weapons program was not nearly as advanced as it had been suggested, he turned it into a wilsonian war. to this day the republican establishment is paying the price of wilsonian war to bring democracy to iraq. it is something that jacksonians never thought would happen and did not think would be worth a
11:39 pm
war, even if it was possible. the idea of eliminating terrorism by eliminating the causes of terrorism. jacksonians do not really think that is possible. the way you defeat terrorism is by defeating terrorism and killing terrorists, rather than the way you defeat terrorism is you turn the middle east into western europe. i think bush was shrewd at reading the signals of jacksonian america, but he made poor policy choices that crippled his presidency. they are still being felt. you can see the consequences in
11:40 pm
the republican primary. in terms of the atlantic charter, the atlantic charter and you and declaration of human rights are things jacksonians do not pay a lot of attention to. they would say a lot of those countries -- if stalin is signing a charter of human rights, it must be a totally empty facade has he would never sign anything that would limit his ability to put millions of people in gulags. of course, they were right. one can attempt to make
11:41 pm
something out of that over the years. there will never be a lot of jacksonian support for human rights-based policy in those ways. there are other ways that something can be done, but the idea that universal declarations of principle to be enforced by international institutions, that is never something that is going to get a lot of jacksonian support in the united states. we can only push these things so far. policymakers often get in trouble because they do not recognize just how tight the
11:42 pm
political limits are to this. they sort of overpromise and discover they are unable to deliver the american government. when these was interesting because that was a masterful example of franklin roosevelt using the credibility he had with jacksonians, giving a fireside chat. if your neighbor's house is on fire and he comes over to borrow your hose come you do not get into a lot of things like accounting over how much the hose cost, you give him the hose and he will give it back to you when the fire is out. that was the analogy he used. tanks do not actually works like garden hoses, but it was a clear enough illustration of the underlying principle that it got through. the ability to describe a policy initiative in terms that make sense to the average person, it is something that some people have and some people do not. if you do not have it, your ability to make america work in foreign-policy is going to be limited. do i call on -- how do we do this?
11:43 pm
>> lets him the microphone to a few folks. >> tony smith. good to see you again. we have a president who is more jacksonian than jackson possibly. that would seem, taking your argument, that this is an unprecedented opportunity for the wilsonian's and jeffersonian and hamiltonian to get their ideas through, since the jacksonians have so much trust in the current president. the trick would be, how do you get ideas of the elites represented in this room to the jacksonian president? >> my question is in a similar
11:44 pm
vein to the last one. you could connect them. how effective can the jacksonian president, as we have right now, be when it is essentially an inversion of a lot of models you have mentioned, where you have a president who is not necessarily a jacksonian but willing -- aware that they have some sort of check on their policy option? to what degree will be's other schools of thought have a check on a jacksonian foreign policy? prof. mead: those questions are related. i think the big thing that has happened in america foreign policy in the last generation was bad we had -- that we had a hamiltonian's and wilsonian and jacksonians.
11:45 pm
bama tony and wilsonian's were enthusiastic about holding all kinds of world order in the free world. the jacksonians were never sold on that but did want to beat communism and stop the soviet union. if you are the president and you needed to send another $1 billion in aid 10 african dictator, who you knew and
11:46 pm
everybody else knew was going to send that money straight to switzerland, but you have strategic reasons for needing to do it, the way you could get people to support that would be to say, if we do not do it they will get it from the russians and he will be their guy. you could always get jacksonians support because of the real perception of soviet threat. in 1990, the jacksonians begin to lose interest. the cold war is over. no big danger. wilsonian's and hamiltonian both double down thinking it will be easier than ever to build an elaborate global order led by the united states, promoting our economic and ideological interest. we are going to transport the
11:47 pm
world. we do not need the jacksonians because foreign policy will be so easy. we can reduce our military budget, we can reduce our foreign aid budget, usia budget. we can put less into the international system and take more out. we do not need the jacksonians. as a result, american foreign-policy moved further and further away from the kinds -- from any kind of construct that can make sense in the jacksonian framework. wilsonian's and hamiltonian were fine with that. as we have seen in the last six to eight years, as the world situation gets darker, american foreign policy will require more focused. the way we have structured the policy and talked about them, they are now very hard things to sell to jacksonians. i would love for some of you to go out and explain why the united states should send troops to myanmar to a jacksonian audience. we have gotten ourselves into an elaborate set of institutional
11:48 pm
arrangements and political value promotion that, in fact, the motor of american foreign-policy does not buy. the question is, how do you begin to move back towards a policy -- for times where america really needs to have an active policy? in president trump, there is somebody who has a certain amount of credibility with jacksonian america, so we can persuade that guy and you do have a shot. him using his bully pulpit for foreign-policy that does not just achieved jacksonian ends is
11:49 pm
in opportunity. if we look at the attitudes of most people in the washington policy community towards president trump, the idea of gauging an honest and profound searching dialogue with president trump, when you are trying to find common ground and so on is not one that spontaneously comes to the mind of the washington community, which is looking for ways you can get rid of him. i think the gap, the deep alienation between jacksonian america and the america where hamiltonian's and wilsonian's are most concentrated is a crippling disease for the country. to get anywhere, i think in some ways wilsonian's and hamiltonian and others will have to eat a little bit of humble pie, which
11:50 pm
is not a dish any of us particularly like. reflect on how you persuade a man like donald trump or steve bannon. what element of our foreign-policy of the last 25 years can survive the test? i think we have built a very complex foreign-policy, fundamentally as a trade-off to hamiltonian's and wilsonian's. we have invested a lot of energy and build a lot of structures into it. we have entered into arrangements with other countries that are based on that, but it is looking to me as if that arrangement is not politically sustainable inside the united states. the fact that hillary clinton had to drop tpp in the election
11:51 pm
campaign should tell us all that this is a bigger problem than trump. the problem is that the foreign-policy which the elites committed themselves in age of the end of history is not a foreign-policy that the american people are prepared to support, at least as it has been explained and expounded. it is a serious problem and it comes at a time when american power and american interest are challenged heavily abroad by a group of adversarial powers who have a pretty good nose from american weakness and division. it is a bad time. >> one more question. >> professor mead, do the jacksonians struggle with the
11:52 pm
notion of the moral imperative to prevent genocide? how would jacksonians deal with the issue of preemptive action when faced with an immediate existential threat? prof. mead: jacksonians do not wrestle with the question of genocide. they think that is not really america's concern. it is not a wrestling. they would resist efforts to base american policy on the prevention of genocide as an obligation. they would -- there are ways you can make a genocide something that jacksonian america would go for. the genocide of christians in the middle east has much more chance of becoming -- of connecting with something that
11:53 pm
jacksonians care about. you have to -- you cannot -- you can spend a lot of time lamenting the fact that other people do not see things the same way you do, but they do not. any policy relevant timeframe, you cannot change their minds. they do have political weight. franklin roosevelt had to sit there, unable to admit jewish refugees, as the holocaust was building up. the limits are real and they are sometimes painful. would he have done better by risking and losing a lot of political capital over this
11:54 pm
issue from 1936 to 1938? he would not have had another term and would not be in the position he was during the war. these are the trade-offs. the other part of the question? that is much more of the jacksonian alley. jacksonians by and large recognize two kinds of adversaries. you have the kind, the honorable enemy. and the way many americans falsely saw rommel during world war ii who treats prisoners of war fairly under the laws of war. an enemy is observing the laws of war, you do too.
11:55 pm
they do not see any kind of absolute claim that you have to observe the rules of war if the enemy does not. once a regime or country has been established in jacksonian perception as fundamentally an outlaw, they are outside the law. this is why, for example the question of guantanamo. obama could never get congress to support anything that could have effectively closed guantanamo. why guantanamo became an issue in somewhat limited circles but never caught on as a national issue. for jacksonians, a terrorist -- somebody fighting with isis or
11:56 pm
the taliban or al qaeda against america, what constitutional rights? what anything? 62% of americans will tell you that under some circumstances, they approved torture. the word torture is used. they say to a stranger that under some circumstances, i support the use of torture. that two thirds figure, which includes those who say rarely, as well as those who say more often, has remained constant during the iraq war and after. these positions seem like common sense to them. one has to understand. you fight a war with a country that you have. that does not mean that you
11:57 pm
cater to every element of the jacksonian agenda. if you lose their trust, you lose the ability to do a lot of things that i think are necessary. this has been my message for a long time and remains my message now. if you care about american foreign-policy, you must look at ways of bridging the gap between jacksonian america and foreign-policy elites. you will otherwise condemn this country to impotence and distraction. nothing good will come of trying to keep them away. it cannot be accomplished. to the extent that you do succeed in driving jacksonian
11:58 pm
america out of the world of foreign-policy, you diminish the political, financial and military resources, which the united states can bring to the foreign-policy of any kind. thank you very much. [applause] >> thanks to the audience for your excellent questions. this was the epitome of the use of history in understanding current problems. announcer: interested in american history tv? >> you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every we can, on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on face the, at
11:59 pm
c-span.org/history. weekend inthis austin. michael heard in his book thursday night lights, the story of black high school football in texas. humbug, of hoaxes, postaccident fake news. a farewell to ice, a report from the arctic. daniel allen and her book, the .ife and times of michael a undercover in the ruthless world and the smuggling author of life in code, personal history of technology. on sunday, our live coverage starts at the clock in eastern if carol anderson and her book, white rage, the end of our racial divide.
12:00 am
story of a drug cartel, the fbi, and the battle for a horse racing dynasty. -- and the author of violated, the texas book festival five saturday and sunday c-span2's book tv. announcer: next on the presidency, an interview with william seale on the white house. susan: white house historian bill seale, your latest is called "a white house of stone -- building america's first ideal in architecture." you have written so many books about the white house. why this project about the stone of the white house? mr. seale: well, susan, one

0 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on